For those of you that have seen Social Dilemma, you know we live in a world that is largely curated by algorithms that are constantly assessing our likes and interests. Social media has developed into an engagement machine. The side effect of such a thing is that the algorithms will start to hide things your friends post on Facebook without you doing anything. Some of you are perpetually hidden from me and I am likely perpetually hidden from some of you. So when I share something, only the people that interact with me constantly see it.
Recently I posted that journalists may be reporting black people’s stories wrong. It was an easy dig at the inadequate reporting done on the Testifying While Black study. When you look at the big picture, journalism sucks right now, and right now is when we need to get the word out that stenographic court reporters are needed. If there was another way to get their attention, I’d take it, but I’ve been playing diplomat for two years, and we are running out of time. Perfect example? Last year I agreed to speak with Frank Runyeon. I said if he’d ever like to write anything on court reporting, he could consider me a resource. Sure, he said, just write him in 6 to 8 months. When I did, he didn’t bother to respond. I’m pretty sure there was an Alice Cooper song for this.
Our shortage is mathematically simple. Years ago I had the privilege of hearing Mirabai Knight speak about it and I completely agreed with her. There are a limited number of people that will be good at steno and want to do stenography for a living. We can’t really affect that number much. What we can impact heavily is the number of people that hear about stenography. That’s one of the reasons Open Steno was born. That’s one of the reasons this blog was born. We can no longer sit back and trust that it’ll all work out. The people that want to replace you with inadequate technology aren’t leaving this up to chance. Any time they can put their thumb on the scale, they do, and when they lose, they whine loudly.
So, without reservation, I choose to put my thumb on the scale and occasionally use the same tools weaponized against us. If clickbait journalism is the way of the future, then let it work for us. I set up an ad campaign to get my article in front of journalists and bloggers, but like I said on my Facebook page, when the money’s dried up, that’s the end of that.
If you’d like to join me on this, I’d ask you to head over to social media and share my Facebook post, the Stenonymous post, or the original blog post with the hashtags #journalism and #clickbaitJournalism. You can share as is, say something horrible about it, or say something nice. If you feel comfortable doing so, please set the privacy settings to public on the post where you share it. When the ad money’s gone, the hashtags will live on. There’s evidence that failing to utilize stenographers will adversely impact people that don’t speak a certain way. This one’s for them.